Roll the Dice

Until Silence

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Swedish electronic duo Roll the Dice began their work with a concept of keeping their music staunchly analog and as organic as possible. This meant no programmed drum machines, no digital editing, no computers or anything of the like, resulting in electronic music played the same way some of the early greats of the genre approached it. Echoes of Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream were definitely audible in their self-titled 2010 album, and In Dust, a full-length that followed the next year, took things to even darker places. Third album Until Silence continues the band's descent into shadows, but also sees them in a more compositionally minded place than ever before. Industrial undercurrents flow through the sludgy rhythms of tracks like "Assembly" and the minimal bass drum pulse that begins "Wherever I Go, Darkness Follows." The group's protracted, patiently sprawling pieces often sit languidly in one place for much of the song, building slowly and subtly until listeners realize Roll the Dice have unexpectedly wrapped them in a world of consumptive sound. An exciting addition to the sonic palette on Until Silence is the inclusion of fully scored string parts, played throughout the album by a 26-piece orchestra. The organic, often cinematically bright string parts mesh nicely with the more synthetic expressions of similar feelings, especially on the epic car-chase soundtrack feel of "Perpetual Motion" and the more dramatic neo-classical tones of "Haunted Piano." One half of the band, Malcolm Pardon worked extensively in film and television scores, and that expertise finds a much darker, less commercial expression in the spare string parts and their excellent use of space and tension-building. The entire album sparkles with this same brilliant pacing and the group's thoughtful trek between detached analog electronics and passionate acoustic instrumentation.

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